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Jazz Mutant Lemur


Dolphin id:7847 Product SKU:Lemur

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JazzMutant's Lemur is an innovative input device to control computer real-time applications. It combines a distinctive industrial design, a brilliant modular graphic interface concept, and a unique and patented touchscreen technology that can track multiple fingers simultaneously.

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JazzMutant's Lemur is an innovative input device to control computer real-time applications. It combines a distinctive industrial design, a brilliant modular graphic interface concept, and a unique and patented touchscreen technology that can track multiple fingers simultaneously.


JazzMutant Lemur - End Of Line offer

The last batch of Lemurs just came out of the factory. These very last units are now available at a special discounted price from JazzMutant’s webstore and from its authorized distributors and retailers. These very last units are now available with 25% discount! Moreover, the Dexter App and an original Lemur T-shirt will come along for free.

Don’t miss this last opportunity and grab the legendary Lemur from authorized retailers while the stock last! The Technical support and after sale service will be handled until December 31, 2011. The jazzmutant website will stay online in order to let the user community access support resources and share their projects.

Its major innovation consists in its brilliant modular graphic interface concept and its exclusive multitouch sensor technology. The continiously growing palette of configurable graphic objects enables you to design made-to-measure interfaces by using the free available JazzEditor. This endows the Lemur with the unique and protocol independant capacity to adapt its behavior according to the application you are controlling: sequencers, modular synthesizers, virtual instruments, VJ software, 3D animation tools and light control.



 The Performer's Best Friend

Are you seriously planning to control a 32 band vocoder with a fader box? Have you ever tried to change a realistic reverb made of nearly thirty parameters in real-time? Which input device allows you to take all the benefit of a powerful physical model synthesizer?

Easy to use, fully configurable and with a great visual feedback, The Lemur is the first hardware controller which fits the ever increasing sophistication of real-time softwares. 


As a performance interface, the Lemur is immediately appealing. You touch colorful rounded interface objects on the 12" LCD display to control your computer in any way you can imagine. Using an editor application running on your choice of Mac or Windows, you drag and drop switches, faders, and other objects into an exact simulation of the Lemur's screen. Make any number of interfaces, store them in an XML-based project file and it's ready to go.

Page Up and Down buttons above the display will flip through your pre-defined interface pages, instantly changing the appearance and behavior of the device. One moment you can be mixing by moving several faders simultaneously. The next moment you can be controlling a software synth or composing real-time video sequences with switches and balls that can be thrown around in a two-dimensional space.

Tap pads, drag balls, stretch strings: the Lemur understands all sorts of hand gestures and transforms them into any kind of data. Assign a fader object to change filter cutoff. Use a two-dimensional controller for multi-channel panning or scratching a sound file. Spend some quality time alone with your imagination: whether you're a composer, performer, DJ, VJ or sound designer, you will find no shortage of cool applications for this animal. 

Make your laptop a real instrument

At first glance, the Lemur does not seem to be anything else than a modular and extremely versatile Star Trek style controller. In a way, that is true, in so far as the palette of user objects allows the Lemur to advantageously replace any type of known controllers, from a mixing deck to a video remote, a 16-step sequencer or any other existing control device. Merely looking for a way to trail along with your whole studio slung across the shoulder? No doubt, the Lemur is made for you!

However, if you are willing to spend some time exploring its whole potential and all its great advanced features, you will quickly realize that the Lemur is much more than a simple controller. It will literally transform your computer into a real instrument. For that purpose, in addition to the standard user interface objects (faders, switches, monitors), the Lemur's library also includes powerful and groundbreaking two-dimensional objects. Although they might puzzle you at first sight, these new objects will soon change your studio works and live performances into exhilarating experiences.

In addition to taking on any size and shape, the Lemur's user interface objects have "physical" properties (including friction, evaporation, and attraction force) that can be customized at any time - even while performing. Items can either stay where you drag them, or slide away from your finger as if on ice. Apply a gravity model to a bank of sliders and they will behave as if they were held by a virtual string. "Throw" a low-friction fader hard enough and it will bounce off the bottom of your mixer.

Last but not least, a powerful mathematical expressions parser allows you to create high level layers of interaction between your fingers, the different objects and your favourite applications. It means that you're not forced to control the nonlinear world of audio with 0 to 127 anymore: objects can be attached to arbitrary mathematical expressions to transform your movements into appropriate ranges for what you are trying to control. In addition, use the Lemur's internal accurate clock in conjunction with very basic mathematical formula and you will generate any kind of time-domain function : LFOs, envelopes, sequences, etc.

Once you will have come to grips with your Lemur, you will catch yourself playing your computer in a way you never imagine before.

A Step beyond MIDI

Recently, the Lemur has been provided with the capacity to generate MIDI messages, so that it can work with your favorite software. Moreover, it is one of the first hardware controller that complies with Open Sound Control (OSC) protocol, an emerging ethernet-based standard for controllers that has numerous advantages over MIDI: low latency, higher data capacity, 32-bit numerical precision, and easy configurability.

OSC is currently supported by modular music applications such as Max/MSP, Reaktor, Pd and SuperCollider, and also by powerful real-time video creation tools such as Jitter, Processing, Isadora or Flash - and more OSC- compatible applications are on the way.

Once you experience the ability to name controllers freely, hook them up to high-resolution values and send hundreds of those at once, MIDI will seem very 1980s (which it is, by the way). Not surprisingly, OSC can be used with multiple controllers on a network, so if one Lemur is not enough, just use a standard ethernet hub and you can have a whole zoo full of them. 

Would you like to simultaneously perform both your granular sound textures generated by Reaktor and your powerful Jitter-based 3D scenes? Just plug your two laptops on a local network and kindly ask your Lemur to control them both.

Finally, you can also use the two-way nature of OSC to display numerical status information sent to the Lemur from your computer, allowing you to track what is going on with your computer without the computer being anywhere nearby. This means your performance can look more like performing and less like office work. 


Multitouch sensing with visual feedback

The lemur’s top feature is its unique multi-touch sensor, able to track an unlimited number of fingers at once. This transparent sensor is set on a top of the range industrial-class 12” TFT display. Compared to the average laptop monitors, the Lemur’s panel is much brighter, contrasted and it offers a much wider viewing angle. Thus, you can always see what is on display, even under spotlights or in a critical lighting environment.

Built-in computing ressources

The Lemur also embeds an internal CPU, a powerful GPU (graphic processing unit) as well as a FPU (floating point arithmetic unit), which makes it a quite independant pet for your laptop. In other words, since it manages video rendering and other processor-consuming tasks by itself, it will not overload the processor of the computer.

Robust design

As any electronic device or musical instrument, the Lemur obviously needs to be handled with care. Nevertheless, no worry about that, you can use a Lemur in any situation wherever you are : although it is not unbreakable, it has been designed to comply with industrial product standards and it is robust enough to work in the most critical contexts. Indeed, the whole system is housed in a sleek, robust though lightweight aluminium enclosure. The sensor itself is protected with a vandal-proof coating that resists to scratches and humidity. And since it is glued on a 3mm glass plate, the touchscreen also protects the TFT display from being damaged.

Fast ethernet connectivity

The Lemur communicates with the host computer using Fast Ethernet connection, thanks to its built-in 100BaseT interface, which means that the Lemur is capable of exchanging thousands of control messages at once with your application. It also means that you can connect numerous computers and Lemurs on a local area network and make all of them party together.

Instant navigation

The Lemur can deal with a great number of interfaces simultaneously. Thanks to the +/- navigation buttons, you can navigate on-the-fly among those. The Lemur also features an Interface List button that opens a thumbnail gallery displaying all the current interfaces. Thus, you can directly go to the selected interface by touching the corresponding thumbnail. The interface change happens without any latency.

Fully upgradable firmware

We are always working on improvements and new features. The Lemur can be fully updated with a new firmware by the user through the LAN interface. A checkout system prevents the systeme against improper programming. 

Object Librar


The Fader tracks your finger with a virtual “knob” and transmits one value corresponding to the position of the knob. The fader can be set horizontally or vertically and resized in both directions. The value as well as its label can be displayed. Other available options include physical model (linear interpolation or mass-spring) and object color. 


The Multiball object assigns each finger to track one of a number of balls in a rectangular space. Balls can either always be visible or only appear when you touch the space. the latter is called ephemeral mode. The multiball supports up to 10 balls and provides 3 parameters for each of those (X, Y and Brightness). Thus, the Multiball object can output up to 30 continuous control simultaneously! The indice of each ball and the object name can be displayed. The area border color can be adjusted. By balancing the numerous physical properties of this object, you will obtain a wide range of interesting behaviors. 


The RingArea is another 2D controller, except that the ball is inside a circular space. Moreover, the ball is linked to at least one ‘attractor’, so that it comes back to its point when you release it. 


The MultiSlider object tracks movement across an array of sliders (up to 64). You can “wipe” all the faders to a set value with one horizontal gesture. This is pretty hard to do with real—or virtual—faders. It also includes a ‘gravity’ mode which allows the MultiSlider to emulate the physics of an object similar to a plucked string anchored at the left and right sides of the array of sliders. Your fingers “pluck” the string by lifting it up in one or more places. The values of the sliders ramp up to meet your fingers and track them as they move. Lifting your finger(s) from the surface releases the string, and its subsequent behavior is determined by the Tension, Friction, and Height values.


The Pads object is a two-dimensional array of buttons that are triggered by touch. They are intended to trigger events instead of represent state, since they eventually return to an “off” value after you touch them. 


The SignalScope displays values of other objects and variables on your Lemur. The “trace” shows a recent history of the value of what you are monitoring.


The Switches object is a two-dimensional array of toggle switches whose values are reversed when you touch them. Switches can be used to represent and transmit one or more on-off states. 


The Monitor sends no data when you touch it. Its purpose is to display values from other objects or information sent to the Lemur by your computer.
Software Features

User-friendly software editor

The Lemur is provided with JazzEditor, a crossplatform (Mac/Win) interface builder. This software enables to create interfaces consisting of graphic objects on your computer and to store them in the Lemur. The number of interfaces that can be included in a single project is not limited: it only depends on the number of objects. Indeed, a Lemur project can contain up to 1024 interactive objects and 1024 mathematical expressions. 

Easy and advanced configurability

In addition to the editing features, the JazzEditor also provides a comprehensive hierarchical overview of your project. It also offers a full set of options to customize each object: dimension, shape, appearance, status and behavior. 

Mathematical Expressions

One of the most powerful features of the Lemur is its mathematical expressions system. Thus, you just have to use arithmetical or logical operation to alter the objects' value range or behavior. You can also create as many additional control messages as you need, which can be pretty useful when you wan't an object to control several items at once. This mathematical expression system features a full set of logical and arithmetic operators, and you can create your own user-defined functions. 
OpenSoundControl compatibility

The lemur is the first control surface to comply with OSC protocol. Thanks to this protocol, the Lemur is capable of:

  • Sending 32-bit floating point values
  • Encapsulating up to 256 values within a single message
  • Controlling several computers at once with broadcast messages
  • Being controlled back by the application

MIDI support

Since Update V1.2, JazzEditor also works as an OSC to MIDI messages converter. OSC floating point values that come from the Lemur can be converted into any kind of MIDI datas (note-ons, Control Change, Program Change, MIDI Clock, sysex ... ), and sent out to an external MIDI port. Although MIDI protocol is not as flexible and accurate as OSC, it allows the Lemur to be used in conjunction with almost software instruments and sequencers.
Physical characteristics 

  • Size :  36.8cm x 29.46cm x 3cm / 14.5" × 11.6" × 1.2"
  • Weight :  2.5 kg / 5.5 lbs. 


  • Size :  12"
  • Resolution :  800x600 pixels
  • Type :  TFT LCD


Computer interface :  Ethernet (100-baseT), OpenSoundControl

Image: Jazz Mutant Lemur

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Jazz Mutant Lemur Reviews


The Lemur

The Lemur belongs to the category of 'controllers', that is devices that control other software synthesisers, hardware synthesisers, or graphical applications rather than do those things themselves. We've seen a number of different ways of repackaging synthesisers resulting from the decoupling of control from synthesis over the last few years. A MIDI keyboard for example can be used with a synthesis engine running on a PC implemented in software, or implemented in analogue electronics running in dedicated hardware. As long as the thing that you wish to control understands MIDI (which in this day and age it invariably does) you have a workable system. More recently the concept of a control surface has emerged which refers more to knobs and sliders than the keyboard whereby you define a setting for a synthesiser or effect within the 'space' of its controllable parameters. This is great for tweaking because providing your parameter of interest is accessible you can change it. Some control surfaces don't even come with keyboards now, they are just a box with sliders, knobs or perhaps a joystick which can be separately assigned and most allow some tweaking at the controller level so you can change sensitivity, MIDI channel and so on.

The Lemur extends this idea to that of a fully modular control surface. That is you build a control surface from basic elements such as button, sliders - some very exotic ones which I'll mention later - which are then positioned and customised according to your needs. Physically the Lemur is like a flat screen monitor which you interact with by touching the screen. The Lemur responds by tracking the position of your finger on its surface and reacts depending on the type of element that you are touching. The control surface is built in an application which runs on a PC or MAC. This software is easy to use although it's a little fussy and all the controls are fully configurable even down to colours. You can't define your own elements from which to build your control surface, although even if Jazzmutant did open this up it's likely it would need some hardcore programming skills. The Lemur only has solid state memory and does not retain its state between being switched on and switched off, so the control surface you want to use needs to be resent every time you turn it on. One possible weakness of the product could be deemed that it is not completely independent; it requires a computer running the design application on the same network (LAN) as the Lemur. The control surface can also be defined across multiple 'pages' which you switch between using a physical button at the top. Even better the Lemur allows you to define multiple targets so you can control up to 8 devices from your lemur.

The Lemur can be a joyous experience to use. My favourite element is a square containing a ball where the ball gravitates towards any finger present in the square. You can even create keyboard like applications using the pads, although you would have to provide some other means of sending the velocity information. It's an interesting process designing the interfaces, quite intuitive and fun in itself, and if something doesn't work obviously you just change it around. There is a memory limit for the complexity of your interface which for my money is hit a little too early. The library of elements is constantly being added to and given the high end hardware underlying the Lemur the possibilities, which include 3D, are mind boggling.

This brings me to the question of configuring the other end, the synthesiser, effects box or VJ unit you want to control. The Lemur has no native MIDI capability, and there is no MIDI port on the back. The Lemur uses a protocol called OSC (Open Sound Control) which is network based, so the port on the back is a standard network one (RJ45). OSC is not very widely supported in the audio world although in my case the applications I mainly use (Supercollider and Reaktor) already support OSC. In general it is the modular environments (Max/MSP, Reaktor, Bidule etc) that benefit most from Lemur and OSC because OSC makes so few assumptions about what it is sending and what it is to be used for. Note and velocity information can be sent as a 2 value array, and it is very straightforward in Reaktor to send these two separate values to pitch and amplitude inputs of a sampler module. Configuration of the Lemur and the various targets you wish to control means getting involved in networking issues (physical routing, IP addresses etc). If you are stuck in MIDI world there are workarounds involving additional software running on the host machine which convert the OSC data to MIDI through a virtual MIDI port, but I've heard the latencies are high, and it’s not a solution if you are controlling hardware.

Overall the Lemur is a very significant new development in music technology. The advantage of being able to build a control surface specific to requirements rather than arbitrarily assigning a number of sliders of a MIDI keyboard to the parameters you wish to control is compelling. The Lemur also offers new ways to interact with digital musical instruments which are not realizable in physical hardware and allow for new creative possibilities. The downside for many will be that the type of software best suited to the Lemur is modular design packages such as Reaktor and Max/MSP, and the Lemur also requires basic network skills to get up and running. MIDI capability is available, but requires additional software (which is provided) and adds to the latency.

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